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Your Word is Your Bond!

-NBA v OHIOMA {2010} 14 N.W.L.R {part 1213} 461 L.P.D.C per Honourable Umaru Eri (Chairman) According to Wikipedia “Integrity is the quality of being honest and…

-NBA v OHIOMA {2010} 14 N.W.L.R {part 1213} 461 L.P.D.C per Honourable Umaru Eri (Chairman)
 
According to Wikipedia “Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. [Integrity] is a personal choice, an uncompromising and predictably consistent commitment to honour moral, ethical, spiritual and artistic values and principles…” It then means that a lawyer’s conduct in his daily practice not only distinguishes him from other professions, but also impacts directly on public confidence in the profession.
At this early stage in practice, a young lawyer needs not lose sight of the sensitive role he plays in the society as a minister in the temple of justice, as someone put it, “maintaining the highest of ethical standards and always acting in the best interest of a client and the community”, in essence, the way a young lawyer conducts himself determines the way and manner the society relates to him.
Let me state for the record that no one is perfect and none will be, this article is not intended to preach perfection in personal life, just ethics required of a young lawyer to gain public trust {the public being the soon to be client}.
 A young lawyer in his daily relationship with the court of justice, the law firm, fellow learned friends and the clients should endeavour to be honest in presentation of facts.  We are not like some police prosecutors who will tell you one thing before the courts starts sitting and do exactly the opposite during sitting; a lawyer should be true to his word no matter the difficulty of a situation.
As rightly said, “the legal profession has no better heritage than credit, fidelity and character”. It is not an optional thing for a lawyer to choose whether to be a gentleman or not, by calling, a lawyer is already a gentleman, what is expected of him is to imbibe the qualities of one; trustworthy, loyal and well-spoken of.
It is a general layman’s belief that all lawyers are liars. A young lawyer in his pursuit to greatness in the profession should endeavour to conduct himself in a ‘fit and proper’ manner – stay away from sharp practice no matter how tempting, it dents reputation at the long run and we have a long time to be in the profession, God sparing our lives.
The pressures of the profession are a likely reason why some young wigs try to find short cut or be economical with the truth, all in a bid to swim out of turbulent waters.  The fact is “no legacy is so rich as honesty”. There are very few legal issues that honesty cannot provide a better solution to.
As young lawyers, we must look beyond the immediate circumstance and pay more attention to the price that comes with the race and the surest way of getting there is when the people you relate with on daily basis trust you, it would go a long way in alleviating financial plight.
A lawyer’s interaction with his immediate community is mostly communicated by words, thus it is paramount that this word can be trusted. ‘Let your yes be yes and your no, NO’. It is paramount at this grooming stage that a young lawyer follows through with commitments he makes.
The way a lawyer behaves does not only impact public confidence in the profession but also in the administration of justice. The citizens {laymen} would appreciate the workings of the court of justice if they see a lawyer generally as one they can trust, one who has their best interest at heart.
The society needs to appre-ciate the value of a lawyer and the judiciary; this can only be achieved through integrity, fide-lity and character.

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